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Goodwin blamed for RMJM departures

A former senior executive at RMJM has criticised the role ex-Royal Bank of Scotland chief Fred Goodwin played in a troubled time for the Scots firm last year

David Pringle, who was among 80 staff to resign from RMJM’s Hong Kong business in 2010, told the Scotland on Sunday that Goodwin’s actions led to salaries not being paid and staff defecting.

Shamed former RBS boss Goodwin was hired by RMJM in January 2010 only to step down almost a year later. His appointment was seen as a surprise move at the time following his disastrous reign at the RBS.

According to Pringle - the only architect on the RMJM board - Goodwin was ‘deeply unpopular’ with many of the firm’s directors and staff due to his effect on the way the firm was managed during a turbulent period in its history.

Pringle said Goodwin’s ‘ruthless’ cash management was ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’, and he was even forced to dip into his own pocket to make up salaries.

The former chief executive officer of RMJM’s Middle East and Asia business explained how he made a £200,000 ‘short-term loan’ to the company before his departure in June.

Pringle told the newspaper: ‘There was a central management of cash for a period of time by Fred Goodwin - quite a ruthless movement of money from the areas in the company that were making money to places where it was needed, and we never got to the bottom of the reasons behind that movement of money. The fall-out was people were being paid late regularly.

‘I felt forced to make up salary payments for the Asia region more than once out of my own money because managing staff in this part of the world is very difficult.’

Pringle’s new practice 10 Design has unveiled images of its first major commission, a 510,000m² mixed-use project in Zhuhai, China.

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